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Home prices continue to climb

story by Susie Vasquez photo by brad horn

A house in Carson City costs an average $256,000, according to March figures, compiled by the Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service. Toni York, a Realtor in Carson City and president of the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors, called that figure conservative.

“It’s not like you can pick and choose at that price,” she said. “Everything depends on the size and location of the property, but for an average three-bedroom, two-bath home, the cost is in the $300,000 range.”

Those same homes in Carson City were worth an average of $199,344 in 2002 and $221,044 in 2003, according to the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors.

“It’s a crazy market,” she said. “Prices are going up so quickly, appraisers can’t keep up and it’s been that way for quite some time.”

Home prices continue to climb, and there’s no end in sight. The demand is high in every price range, and entry-level homes can be purchased with little or no down. Interest rates, which have vacillated between 5.5 percent and 6 percent for some time, will probably remain steady because this is an election year, York said.

“People are also doing creative loans, like adjustable rate mortgages that charge 3 to 4 percent,” she said. “That was unheard-of, a few years ago.”

All of Northern Nevada is experiencing unprecedented growth and the market can be defined as good for both buyers and sellers, depending on your perspective, she said.

“Some say it’s a sellers’ market because when property is priced correctly, it’s sold,” she said. “But this is also a great time to purchase property here, because home values are still going up.”

Clean air, outdoor amenities and a great lifestyle, combined with a great tax structure is drawing lots of Californians.

The downside is the lack of homes on the market, and right now the pickings are slim for people selling their homes to find something new, York said.

“But once the flowers start popping up, there should be more movement in the market,” she said.

Houses averaged 75 days on the market. In March, almost $17 million changed hands in Carson City, according to Multiple Listing statistics.

The average cost of a house in Douglas County this year is $319,481. Costs for Lyon, Storey and Churchill counties are combined and averaged $156,148 in March.

Contact Susie Vasquez at svasquez@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.